Engaging With the New Generation of Grocery Shoppers

For Gen Z consumers, price isn’t the primary motivator to earn their business. This younger generation wants to shop at retailers that align with their values and interests. In this article, learn how retailers can effectively communicate and meet the needs of new generations of grocery shoppers.

2023 is officially underway, and the oldest members of Gen Z are heading toward their late 20s and taking on more grocery-shopping responsibilities for their families. Unlike previous generations who have shown habits of deal searching and cost saving, the incoming generation of grocery shoppers wants to do business with retailers that align with their values and belief systems. 30% of Gen Z consumers determined what brands to purchase from based on the social and political beliefs of the retailer. Price still has pull, but engagement is the key to winning over the Gen Z crowd. An e-commerce solution that offers personalization and the ability to tailor the shopper experience is necessary to accomplish this connection. 

With Gen Z shoppers having approximately $44 billion in spending power, first impressions are crucial for grocery retailers to earn their business. Opposite of older demographics, price is not the top priority among Gen Z shoppers. Gen Z consumers want to connect with the brands they buy and the places they shop. Having a fully customizable e-commerce solution can assist with high-level engagement with consumers. A solution that allows a grocery retailer to customize their digital storefront to connect with the communities they serve will attract younger consumers for 2 reasons: (1) their brand will be an active member of the community, and (2) the digital experience will more effectively engage shoppers. 

Similar to how private-label brands act as cheaper alternatives to help price-cautious shoppers meet their needs, promoting brands that have values aligned with Gen Z, like racial equality and sustainability, can drive sales among this new generation of grocery shoppers. Utilizing targeted shopper data to promote relevant products will drive more sales and build loyalty. 21% of Gen Z consumers are more likely to purchase food products that connect to their beliefs. Taking it a step further, being able to personalize trending products for each location online can ensure that your brand is building loyalty at a geographic level and not only a demographic one. This personalization strategy will pave the way to creating a positive and convenient online shopping experience.

A critical part of the digital shopping experience is building the digital basket. Younger shoppers value lists and convenience. 53% of Gen Z shoppers utilize a shopping list to stay organized and within budget. Retailers looking to engage this tech-savvy demographic should aim to provide a seamless and enjoyable digital touchpoint by implementing features that enhance their shopping experience. Those who fail to do so will quickly lose Gen Z’s interest. The best experiences will leverage cutting-edge functionality to strategically place brands and products that best appeal to this demographic while offering features that add additional value to the user experience.  

Each generation of grocery shoppers looks for different features that elevate their online shopping experiences. Some may prioritize price over convenience and vice versa. The challenge for grocery retailers is understanding their customer’s needs and deploying an e-commerce solution that can easily be personalized for each digital storefront to meet those expectations. 84% of retailers predict that online grocery will increase among Gen Z and Millennials over the next year. As more consumers assume the chore of grocery shopping, it is crucial to avoid becoming static in how your operations run. How can this be done? Grocery retailers need to access and understand their customers. The obvious path would be to leverage customer data and tailor the shopping experience according to their preferences. The goal of personalization is not only meant to put the optimal items in front of the consumer to increase average basket sizes, but to create connections that ensure repeat business. Taking this a step further, by listening to what shoppers want, searching for a more profitable solution becomes easier. This continuous evaluation of consumer needs is necessary for winning over loyalty.